Tuesday, May 26, 2009

12 day motorcycle tour that didn’t happen

The Pacific North West Ride (CA, OR, WA, ID)

I usually don’t post about rides that “could have been”. But I was very close to doing a huge ride, so it’s worth a mention. This ride is now “technically” postponed. I’d still like to do it, and I will if the opportunity presents itself.

Had things gone as planned, today I would have been heading out to Northern California for a motorcycle meet in Fortuna, CA. On the way to Fortuna I was going to stop in Sacramento and meet up with another woman motorcycle sport-tourer, who is also a blogger like me. I‘ve known her for several years now as I followed her motorcycle travels through her blog and various motorcycle message boards.

My proposed 4,000 mile route through CO, UT, NV, CA, OR, WA, ID and WY

Funny, we have never met in person, but reading someone’s stories year and year, makes you really feel like you know them. Ah, the magic of the internet. The motorcycle community is an amazing one. A simple e-mail to another rider in another state, usually will provide garage space for the bike, a place to lay your head for the night and sometimes even a home made meal. To the traveler it’s inexpensive lodging, and of course, the bonus is hanging out with other riders, sharing stories and motorcycle adventures over a meal and some beer. You can’t get that at a motel if you‘re traveling alone.

As for the motorcycle meet in Fortuna. I have never been to that one before, but I have been to many others over the 7 years that I have been a member of this group. This meet for another opportunity to meet in person some of the people that I have known for years through the message board. Some of the people I have met already through other events and rides, and was looking forward to seeing them again.

And lets not forget about the roads. I was really looking forward to riding along the coast in California, gazing at the Pacific Ocean, posing my bike for a picture in front of some of those giant redwoods.

From California I was going to ride with two other riders through Oregon and Washington. Two states that I haven’t been through on my motorcycle yet. After a short visit in Washington, I was going to ride to Idaho, and get to cross that state off my “to ride” list, then head home.

This trip would finally allow me to color in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, the states I have not been to yet on a motorcycle

12 glorious days on my motorcycle, a few days staying with other riders, the rest of the night camping. So why didn’t I go on this ride?

Literally two days before I was supposed to head out, I received an e-mail informing me of a job interview the following week. At first I thought I still couple make it out to Northern California for the meet, but if I rode out to Northern California I’d literally be arriving back home the day before the interview and that was cutting it too close. If the weather got bad or the bike broke down, I wouldn’t make it back in time.

The Colorado and Utah Ride

A couple of days after Labor Day I sat there playing with my mapping software (Microsoft Streets & Trips) and thought about possibly doing a shorter ride. I was already pretty much packed, I didn’t want to waste all that packing effort. So I decided to head out to Utah for 5 days. There were still so many places I haven’t been to out there, as well as in Colorado. I created a route that took me through these parks and monuments:

Paonia State Park, CO
Natural Bridge National Monument, UT
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Capitol Reef National Park, UT
Colorado National Monument, CO

My proposed 1,500 mile route through CO and UT

But since I wanted to camp every might and hike and everything in every park, the 5 days just wasn’t cutting it. I needed more time, I needed an extra day. I didn’t rush through it. Since I didn’t have an extra day I scraped the Colorado and Utah ride idea. I was still going to ride somewhere, but it was going to be a much shorter ride. To be continued…


Mike said...

Bryce and Capital Reef are awesome. Natural bridge is eh. Are you going across Lake Powell? Moab is stunning, especially the Mountain Loop Road which gets you up in the mountains overlooking the slickrock. Cedar Breaks is great especially the ride from the east up and over and then down into Cedar City. I recommend 12 out of Torrey through Escalante (Escalante is unreal!) to Tropic then to 89 and Panguitch on to 143 all the way to Cedar Breaks, 148 to the 14. From there back to the 89 or stay for cheap in Cedar City. Zion's is AMAZING too, especially going East to West.

Mike said...

You can check out my last trip there here.


Anna said...


Good to know about Natural Bridge, maybe I'll skip it if I run short on time. I've already been to Zion.

I’ve already ridden most of the roads in the area. The point of this ride was to visit all the parks, camp and hike. And to ride 12, 24 and 95 again. My favorite roads in Utah.

Marty said...

Wow! I've had almost the same thing happen to me in the last few weeks! I've been planning a 10-12 day ride since Christmas with a bunch of friends where we'd go down the Oregon and California coast, cut across to Joshua Tree NP, up through Vegas then onto Bryce, Zion, Capitol Reef and Moab/Arches. Depending on how we felt the long option was to continue up through Yellow stone then back across Montana, Idaho and back into Washington. This ride was supposed to be going on RIGHT NOW, but I had to bale out due to a herniated disc in my neck that I just had surgery for on Monday.

Were you going to go to Baker City for this year's West Coast Madness gathering of Ducati ST owners the weekend of 6/19? There is some really, really good riding in eastern Oregon around Hell's Canyon and over towards Grass Valley.

If you do get up near Washington sometime in the future give me a shout, there's a large Ducati community up here (DesmoNorthwest.com)that would love to ride with you for a day or two and I'm sure could put you up in the Seattle area.

Anna said...


Sorry to hear about your herniated disc :(

Is the Baker City meet the Yahoo ST group? I registered a long time ago for that forum but I really dislike the Yahoo forum format. Maybe someone posted the info on Ducati.ms, I might go look there.

As of right now I'm tentatively planning on being in Gunnison, CO for the ST.N meet 16-17 of June. I think it could be very possible to get up to Baker City, OR in two days from Gunnison, it’s only 871 miles.


Marty said...

yes, the Baker City meet is through the Yahoo ST Owners group. I don't like Yahoo groups either but some of the old coots don't want to move to something more 21st century. ;-)

Good luck with your interview, hopefully your next employer will allow for a flexible travel schedule.